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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Lawsky Entry Level Hiring Report 2022

Following is a data summary of the Spring Reported Entry Level Hiring Report for 2022. To remain consistent with past years, while the spreadsheet contains all hiring information received, the data analysis includes only tenure-track hires at U.S. law schools. (The data analysis also includes several hires who requested not to be included in the spreadsheet at the date of this posting.)

This report and the spreadsheet are freely available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 license, cited as Sarah Lawsky, Spring Reported Entry Level Hiring Report 2022, PrawfsBlawg, https://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2022/05/lawsky-entry-level-hiring-report-2022.html.

Here is the full spreadsheet:

There were 119 tenure-track hires at U.S. law schools reported, at 76 different law schools.

Q: How does 119 reported hires compare to past years?

This is a big jump—more than any other year since the market shifted after 2012. The average number of hires per year since 2014 is 81. (I omit 2010 in this and all subsequent cross-year comparisons because insufficient data was collected that year; click on pictures for larger versions.)


It would useful to know the percentage of those who registered with the AALS who got jobs. While the AALS does not provide that information, the number of forms in the first distribution of FAR AALS forms is not a terrible proxy. This graph and chart compares the hiring in Year X to the number of forms in the first distribution in Year (X - 1) (because those are the people who were hired in Year X). Reported hires per FAR form also took a jump.


Q: You say the hires were at 76 different schools. How does that compare to previous years?

More schools hired than any year since 2012.


Q: How many reported hires got their JD from School X?


Harvard: 19; Yale: 18; Stanford: 6; NYU: 5; Duke: 4; Cornell: 4; Chicago: 3; Georgetown: 3; UCLA: 3; Virginia: 3; Northwestern: 3; Berkeley: 3; Penn: 3; George Washington: 3; Fewer than Three: 39

Schools in the “fewer than three hires” category with two JD/LLBs who reported hires: Columbia; Illinois; Michigan; Minnesota; Wisconsin

Schools in the “fewer than three hires” category with one JD/LLB who reported hires: Arizona; Athens; CUNY; Davis; Dayton; Denver; Emory; Freiburg; Ghent; Hastings; Hebrew University; Howard; Humboldt; Irvine; Miami; Nat'l Chengchi U; New South Wales; Nigeria Law School; Richmond; Shenzhen; Southern Illinois; Suffolk; Temple; Trinity; Tulane; Utah; Vanderbilt; Washington & Lee; West Virginia

This information comes with two related caveats.

First, the spreadsheet reports the number of hires who received a JD from a particular school who accepted a tenure-track job, but not the number of JDs on the market who received a tenure-track job offer.

Second, the spreadsheet reports the count of JDs from a particular school, but not the rate at which JDs received (or accepted) offers. A smaller school with a high placement rate thus might not appear on the chart, whereas a larger program with a low placement rate might appear. This caveat means that smaller schools may be undervalued if one relies only on this data, while larger schools might be overvalued. 

Q: How many reported hires had a fellowship, degree, or clerkship?

93 (about 78%) had a fellowship; 59 (about 50%) had a clerkship; 79 (about 66%) had a higher degree. 5 people had none of these credentials. This is consistent with prior years.

Venn diagram:


Comparing two categories of the Venn diagram related to fellowships, degrees, and clerkships--hires that have all three credentials, and hires that have none of the credentials--a shift starting in 2017 is apparent:


2012: 20% all three/8% none; 2013: 17%/4%; 2014: 21%/1%; 2015: 20%/1%; 2016: 17%/1%; 2017: 31%/0%; 2018: 30%/2%; 2019: 30%/0%; 2020: 34%/1%; 2021: 26%/0%; 2022: 24%/4%.

Q: From what law schools did people get these fellowships?

I count here any law school at which a person reports having a fellowship. So one person could account for two schools’ being listed here. For example, if a single individual had a fellowship at Columbia followed by a fellowship at NYU, that would be reflected below as +1 to Columbia and +1 to NYU.


NYU 18; Harvard 14; Columbia 6; Chicago 5; Duke 5; Stanford 5; Penn 4; UCLA 4; Yale 4; Georgetown 3; Michigan 3; Fewer than Three 37.

This information comes with the same two caveats as the JD numbers.

First, the spreadsheet reports the number of hires who received a fellowship from a particular school who accepted a tenure-track job, but not the number of fellows who received a tenure-track job offer. This caveat likely applies to all or nearly all fellowship programs. Presumably, someone choosing between fellowships cares more about how many people received tenure-track job offers than about how many people accepted those offers.

Second, the spreadsheet reports the count of fellows, but not the rate at which fellows received (or accepted) offers. A smaller program with a high placement rate thus might not appear on the chart, whereas a larger program with a low placement rate might appear. This caveat means that smaller programs may be undervalued if one relies only on this data, while larger programs might be overvalued.

Q: Tell me more about these advanced degrees. 

Okay, but first a caveat: Although some people had more than one advanced degree, the following looks only at what seemed to me to be the "highest" degree someone earned. For example, someone with a Ph.D. and an LL.M. would be counted only as a Ph.D. for purposes of this question. (This tracks the "Other Degree (1)" column.)

That said, looking only at what seemed to be the most advanced degree, and including expected degrees, the 78 “highest” advanced degrees broke down like this:


Doctorate: 51; Masters: 19; LLM: 7; MD: 2

Topics ranged all over the maps. For the 51 Doctorates, a number of topics had multiple hires, including Law: 12; Political Science: 9; Economics: 6; Philosophy: 5; History: 5; Anthropology: 3. The other doctorate topics, each of which had one hire, were American Studies; Public Policy; Public Affairs; Psychology; Education; Biology; Criminology; Chemistry; Communications; Business; Social Policy.

Q: What is the percentage of doctorates over time?

Comparable to recent years.


Q: That's a lot of doctorates, and that goes along with a lot of fellowships! How many people had a doctorate, or a fellowship, or both?

86% of the hires had either a doctorate (Ph.D., SJD, JSD, D.Phil.), a fellowship, or both.

Q: How long ago did these reported hires get their initial law degrees?


Zero to Four Years (Graduated 2018-2022) 18; Five to Nine Years (Graduated 2013-2017) 54; Ten to 19 Years (Graduated 2003-2012) 43; Twenty or More Years (Graduated before 2003) 4.

Q: How do the "time since initial degree" numbers compare to previous years?

Consistent with prior years.


Q: More slicing! More dicing! Different slicing! Different dicing!

Sure--you can do it yourself, or ask questions in the comments and I'll see what I can do, or we'll work it out as a group.

Q: This is all wrong! I know for a fact that more people from School Y were hired!

Yes, this spreadsheet is certainly missing some information. Repeat: this spreadsheet is incomplete. It represents only those entry-level hires that were reported to me, either through the comments on this blog or via email. It is without question incomplete. 

If you want to know about real entry level hiring, I commend to you Brian Leiter's report (hiring 1995-2011), the Katz et al. article (all law professors as of 2008), the George and Yoon article (entry level, 2007-2008 hiring year), and the Tsesis Report (entry level, 2012-2013 hiring year). This is just a report about self-reported entry level hires as of the spring before the school year starts. 

Originally posted 5/12/2022; revised 5/13/22, 5/14/22, 5/30/22, 6/12/22, 6/15/22, 6/21/22, 7/4/22, 9/22/22, and 10/8/22 to add hires and to tweak and make numbers slightly more accurate across the board.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on September 22, 2022 at 06:14 PM in Entry Level Hiring Report | Permalink


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